Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons)

Falmouth University Marine Photography student underwater with diving gear and camera
UG16 PG103 TJ Hughes
Photo by TJ Hughes

Use your passion for photography and filmmaking to inspire audiences about nature and the environment. You’ll learn how to communicate scientific ideas and conservation stories through images and raise awareness of global issues including habitat loss, climate change and plastic pollution.

Key details
Location Penryn Campus
Course Duration 3 years / 4 years
Attendance Full-time
UCAS code WF67/FY20

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Course overview

The outdoors will be your studio; you’ll have fantastic locations on your doorstep and the opportunity to learn underwater photography. For your final major project, you can follow the lead of former students who’ve travelled the world and returned with powerful and thought- provoking stories. Throughout, you’ll be supported by staff who are global practitioners in photography, filmmaking, art and science.

You will:

  • Take part in regular local and UK-based field trips
  • Have the option to learn professional underwater photography
  • Take your skills to the industry through work placements, which form a key part of the second year
  • Organise and complete a self-devised project in your third year, mirroring an industry brief, which could be based anywhere in the world
  • Build technical expertise using our cutting-edge photographic equipment, as well as studios, post-production suites and dark rooms

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

What our students do

BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography course video
Student showcase 2021 | Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons)

As a student on this Marine & Natural History Photography degree, you'll have the opportunity to join international expeditions to locations such as the Red Sea and the Galapagos Islands. Check out the stories below to see what our students have been up to lately.

image of Davey McDonald by Elliot Caunce
IoP AoP Award Winners

Photography Student Snaps Best in Show at the AOP Student Awards

27 July 2020

BA(Hons) Press and Editorial Photography graduate Elliot Caunce has received the Best in Show title ...

Photography Student Snaps Best in Show at the AOP Student Awards
Two divers in the Galapagos
MNHP_Diving in the Galapagos
Photo: Emily Kennett

Filmmaking for Galapagos Conservation

19 March 2020

This collaboration enables staff and students to gain access to parts of the Galapagos Islands that ...

Filmmaking for Galapagos Conservation
Two men with cameras on tripods
Cairngorms 1
Asher Mann and Lewis Jeffries film Osprey at Loch Insh

Celebrating Rewilding in the Cairngorms

04 March 2020

Marine & Natural History Photography students have captured the awesome beauty of the rewilding ...

Celebrating Rewilding in the Cairngorms
Lucky Escape by Shannon Moran
ShannonMoran_LuckyEscape
Lucky Escape

Student Win at Underwater Photographer of the Year

28 February 2020

Marine & Natural History Photography student Shannon Moran has won third place at this year's Un...

Student Win at Underwater Photographer of the Year
MNHP Galapagos - Emily Kennett (2)

Students Commissioned to Film Galapagos Land Birds

23 June 2019

Diving with sharks, snorkelling with penguins, swimming with green sea turtles and eagle rays; these...

Students Commissioned to Film Galapagos Land Birds
students
MNHP 2019 award winners

Students Praised During Final Year Show

31 May 2019

Third year Marine & Natural History Photography students have just celebrated their final year d...

Students Praised During Final Year Show
Red Sea Trip 1
Photo by Lewis M Jefferies

Capturing the Red Sea

15 April 2019

“One of the best two weeks of my life”, said several second-year BA(Hons) Marine & Natural H...

Capturing the Red Sea
Pradyuman Samant - froglets

Photography Student Published in BBC Wildlife Magazine

26 March 2019

Second year BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography student Pradyuman Samant is no strange...

Photography Student Published in BBC Wildlife Magazine
working wrasse

Student Receives Special Mention at British Wildlife Photography Awards

19 November 2018

Ellie Stones, second year Marine & Natural History Photography student, has received a spec...

Student Receives Special Mention at British Wildlife Photography Awards
Karl Davies_main

Student Shortlisted for Prestigious Conservation Award

20 July 2018

Third year Marine & Natural History Photography student Karl Davies has been shortlisted for the...

Student Shortlisted for Prestigious Conservation Award

What our graduates do

Our graduates have worked as:

  • International Filmmaker with Sir David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet, for the BBC
  • Principal Cameraman for Channel 5 series Alaska: A Year in the Wild
  • Photographer for BBC Wildlife magazine
  • Field Assistants for a loggerhead turtle programme in Kefalonia
  • Researcher in the BBC Studios Natural History Unit
Hedvika
Hedvika New 2

Meet the graduate exposing a global coffee crisis

26 August 2021

A new documentary by aspiring filmmaker and photographer Hedvika Michnova has exposed how the climat...

Meet the graduate exposing a global coffee crisis
Large concrete letters spelling Falmouth.
Falmouth sign Woodlane

Alumni Winners in Cornwall’s 30 Under 30

09 March 2020

Cornwall’s 30 under 30 for 2020 have been announced. Congratulations to the Falmouth alumni who we...

Alumni Winners in Cornwall’s 30 Under 30
Elliott Harrison with Formula 1 car
Marine & Natural History Photography grad Elliott Harrison
Elliott with the brand new Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula 1 car at a filming day in Italy

Role at Red Bull Kicks Off Graduate's Career

26 February 2020

Elliott Harrison graduated from Marine & Natural History Photography last summer, after a six mo...

Role at Red Bull Kicks Off Graduate's Career
Students filming on beach
Back from the Brink
Students, Joe Gray (on camera) and Rose Hillson-Summers (camera assistant and sound), filming presenter and lecturer Tim Cockerill for a Back from the Brink film about the Sefton Dunes and their endangered wildlife in the North West of England

Supporting Conservation Through Film

18 February 2020

In May 2019, Marine & Natural History Photography Associate Lecturer Neil Aldridge got the call ...

Supporting Conservation Through Film
Chloe Russell - profile

Expeditions and Exhibitions: A Busy Life for Photography Graduate

02 April 2019

Since graduating from BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography in 2016, Chloe Russell has b...

Expeditions and Exhibitions: A Busy Life for Photography Graduate
grey seal

Graduate Wins British Wildlife Photography Award

19 November 2018

Ben Watkins, Marine & Natural History Photography graduate, has won the Documentary Series categ...

Graduate Wins British Wildlife Photography Award
News: Daphne Wong Breathing Room trailer still

Graduate Success for Marine Photographer

06 September 2018

Marine & Natural History Photography graduate Daphne Wong has not only had her work featured in ...

Graduate Success for Marine Photographer
News: Man o'war 2

National Coverage for Photography Graduate

23 May 2018

We chat to Marine & Natural History Photography graduate Irene Mendez Cruz about her t...

National Coverage for Photography Graduate

Course details

On this Marine & Natural History Photography degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

Blending professional practice with theoretical knowledge, this environmental photography course will help you develop the critical understanding essential for your future career. You'll also have the chance to gain real-world experience during and after your studies through our relationships with agencies and conservation trusts, and paid opportunities through our in-house photo agency.

You'll practice photographic skills alongside research and critical thinking. During this year, you'll explore biodiversity and habitat, as well as the marine environment, and will participate in a number of local field trips to land and marine environments.

Modules

Developing Practice

You'll be introduced to basic photography skills and camera techniques.

Research and Critical Thinking

Learn how to generate ideas, understand the impact of photography and improve your writing.

Biodiversity and Habitat

Study the intricate web of life in a local habitat.

Exploring Practice

More advanced photographic skills and camera techniques.

Communicating Nature

Learn to communicate scientific ideas through text and photographic sequence.

The Marine Environment

Explore and photograph the seashore and oceans.

Alongside studying moving image and still photography, you'll develop your research and critical thinking skills, explore global conservation, and get ready for your own research project.

Modules

Moving Image and the Natural World

Work in groups to create a short film.

Photography of the Natural World

Learn about natural history photography and develop your own portfolio.

Conservation and its Representation

Examine conservation issues and learn how photography and moving image can make an impact.

Independent Practice

Create your own short film and photographic story.

Culture and the Environment

Devise a research project focused on an issue that interests you.

Work Experience

Spend a short period of time undertaking work experience in a relevant professional context.

You'll keep building your photographic skills, develop your final portfolio and dissertation, and prepare to enter the industry.

Modules

Project Development

Begin to develop a major project using still photography or moving image.

Dissertation

Research and write a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Major Project

Complete your major project and develop a professional portfolio.

Professional Profile

Build your profile to a professional standard and make contacts within the industry.

Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route? 

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree. 

What you'll study in your Foundation year

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs. 

Modules

Explore

You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.

Technique

You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.

Apply

You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.

Industry

You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.

Launch

You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject. 

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2023 and subject to validation.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details

How you'll learn

You'll learn through field trips, photographic and scientific excursions, technical workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials. The Marine & Natural History Photography course includes an optional underwater programme with dive tuition and international photo shoots. There will also be chances to join photographic expeditions to places like the Galapagos Islands, Borneo and the Red Sea, and to take on national and international placements.

Students have previously created projects that have documented climate change in Norwegian glaciers, conducted research in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and filmed conservation work in the Amazon rainforest.

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

How you'll spend your time

Year

Timetabled

teaching

and learning

activity

Guided

independent

study

Placements

Integrated

Foundation

Year (optional)

Digitally enhanced learning

Digitally enhanced learning

N/A

1

33%

67%

0%

2

28%

66%

6%

3

33%

67%

0%

 

How you'll be assessed

Year

Written exams

Practical exams

Coursework

Integrated

Foundation

Year (optional)

0%

0%

100%

1

0%

0%

100%

2

0%

0%

100%

3

0%

0%

100%

The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.

Assessment methods

  • Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations.
  • Portfolios, presentations and essays.
  • End of year project and exhibition.

Staff

You’ll be guided and supported by practising photographers, scientists and explorers. Their careers span working and exhibiting photographs internationally, producing wildlife films and leading expeditions.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member shown here.

Dr Daro Montag

Associate Professor of Art & Environment

Daro Montag's art practice has, for many years, been involved with environmental and ecological issu...

Dr Daro Montag

Adrian Brown

Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography

Adrian is a senior lecturer on the BA(Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography and heads the t...

Adrian Brown

Anna Roberts

Marine & Natural History Film Tutor

Following my Zoology degree at Manchester University, I made my first documentary in the Himalayas, ...

Anna Roberts

Dr Joanna Henley

Senior Lecturer

I am a marine educator with a PhD in the visual communication of marine science. I joined the M...

Dr Joanna Henley

Feargus Cooney

Associate Lecturer

I have been teaching on Marine and Natural History Photography since 2014. Having a double set of qu...

Feargus Cooney

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones

Associate Professor of Environment and Culture

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones is an environmental historian and expedition leader. Huw is a...

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones

Oliver Udy

Head of Photography

Oliver Udy is a photographer, publisher and general facilitator of things.Udy joined Falmouth Univer...

Oliver Udy

Dr Tim Cockerill

Senior Lecturer

Dr Tim Cockerill is a zoologist, broadcaster and photographer. Tim specialises in documenting a...

Dr Tim Cockerill

Claire Braithwaite

Lecturer BA (Hons) Marine and Natural History Photography

Claire Braithwaite is an artist and photography educator with over 12 years experience teaching acro...

Claire Braithwaite

Kate Bell

Photography Technician

I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan in 2007 with a First Degree Hons in BA Photography. During ...

Kate Bell

Jane Morgan

Dive Technician

Jane's career began as an IT trainer at News International in London. However, after discovering a p...

Jane Morgan
Helen Perkins staff picture

Helen Perkins

Dive Safety Officer

I graduated from Plymouth College of Art and Design in 2000 where I specialised in fine art landscap...

Helen Perkins
Dave Mann staff profile image

Dave Mann

Technical Instructor

I have worked as a professional photographer and photography educator&n...

Dave Mann

Facilities

  • Multiple studios, darkrooms and print suites.
  • Photography store containing a wide range of professional equipment free to loan.
  • Macro and long lenses, macro flash, infrared triggers and time-lapse and underwater cameras.
  • Digital suite with Adobe software.
  • Photo-microscopy laboratory.
  • Digital and traditional processing facilities.
  • Walled garden with fully equipped hide for nature study, photography and filming.

Take a virtual tour

Falmouth Photography lecturer using camera equipment in a studio
Photography lecturer using camera equipment

Photography Facilities

Housing dark rooms, post-production suites, full professional studios and gallery, our Institute of ...

Photography Facilities
Library interior with 'group study' written on large pillar and students reading
Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
Falmouth University Sports Centre building exterior with blue sky and a path
Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

Ready to join us? You can apply through UCAS Apply and Track. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply now

Applying as an international student? 

International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our International applications page.

International applications

Course route UCAS code
Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) three year degree WF67
Marine & Natural History Photography BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year (new for entry year 2023) FY20

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course routeEntry requirements
BA(Hons) three year degree104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Shows genuine passion for photography and the natural world.
  • Shows a reasonable level of technical knowledge and skills.
  • Has good visual awareness.
  • Can research, write and analyse to a reasonable level.
  • Intelligently and articulately expresses ideas and responds to questions

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition feeStudent
£9,250 per yearFull-time UK
£17,460 per yearFull-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£TBC per year Full-time UK

£TBC per year

Full-time EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.

Typical course costs

  • £350 - Recurring annual costs
  • £600-£650 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
  • £3,800 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your specialism, you may need a specific type of computer. You can find out more about the type of machine you'll need on your course specialism page. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Funding

For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?  

From course details, our facilities and the local area to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

 

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From visiting campus to online application advice, get all the information you need about joining our creative community.

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